Tiny Taig Sleeper CNC Mill
I just called the Taig CNC Micro Mill a “sleeper”. I do that because I think there are probably a lot of people who don’t realize what is “under the hood” of this little machine. It doesn’t have all the catch word components of larger CNC mills. Especially the anti-backlash ball nuts and screws. It also uses good old fashioned manual oiled guide ways. Very non high-tech components. I consider it the KISS principal of machine design.
The truth is it doesn’t need the balls when used within it’s design parameters. It is a MICO mill. A well designed micro-mill.
I have been running one in hobby type CNC operation for nearly a decade. Nothing is worn out our causing reduced repeatability or accuracy. Note I said HOBBY USE. I figure I have at least 1000 hours of (moving) operation on the mill. Perhaps up to 1200 hours. I often run 3D carvings with a continuous run time of two hours or more.
Twenty five weekends a year with 5 hours of actual run time (a lot) is only 125 hours a year. That time ten years is 1250 run hours. If someone is doing more run hours than that with a Taig, they should probably look towards a midi mill like the Tormach 770 with auto oiling and forced (flood) cooling.*
I have milled all types of hobbyist metal such as Iron, steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminium and many other materials like Corian(r), wood, plastic and wax.
I have involved myself with lost wax casting and for several years have pressed my ageing Taig CNC mill into micro fine 3D wax carving. The spindle is constantly at top speed and runs from two to four hours continuous. The Taig mill doesn’t miss a single bit.
My favourite wax bit is a 1/8” (0.125”) diameter bit that tapers 3 degrees (6 total) to a 0.003” tip. Any run-out whatsoever would make this bit unusable. The Taig ER16 collet system is capable.
This is why I am calling the mill a sleeper. I am very impressed with what it can do when operated within its design. So far it has been a perfectly accurate wax carving system and wax is extremely easy on tooling and machinery.
Yeah, I’d love to own a Tormach but they are far too big a machine for the work I ask my Taig to perform and that it does wonderfully well.